オランダの大学における英語による学位プログラム : 拡大の背景と要因 <論考>
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The Development of Degree Programmes taught in English at Dutch Universities : the Background and Major Factors <ARTICLES>
Internationalisation is becoming increasingly more important in European higher education, influenced by globalisation and the formation of a unified labour market, etc. International activities at universities have been expanding in volume, and at the same time, the types of activities have also been changing. Since the 1990s, in addition to the traditional forms of international activities occurring at universities, such as student and scholar exchanges, more emphasis has been placed on the internationalisation of the university curriculum. In particular, degree programmes taught in English have attracted more attention in recent years.
According to Wächter & Maiworm (2008), the number of English-taught degree programmes offered by higher education institutions in continental Europe approximately tripled during the period 2002 to 2007, and nearly one-third of these programmes were offered at Dutch institutions. Some previous studies have touched on this phenomenon in the Netherlands, but little attention has been given to the background and the factors that influenced the development of such programmes.
The purpose of this article is to describe the background and major factors that have influenced the development of degree programmes taught in English at Dutch universities. First, the article briefly reviews the quantitative development of English-taught degree programmes. It then explores why such programme offerings have been made and what factors have influenced their development, by examining policy changes both at national and institutional levels.
Based on the findings from the explorations, the article reaches the following conclusions. Englishtaught degree programmes at Dutch universities were not explicitly promoted by national policies, but by individual universities that were eager to promote them in order to compete with foreign institutions in the international student market. The start of the ERASMUS programme in Europe first prompted universities to introduce courses taught in English for exchange students. At the beginning, special courses for exchange students were offered on an ad hoc basis or in isolated units. But universities soon started to integrate them into fully-fledged degree programmes for both international and domestic students. The idea behind this was to create international learning environments for non-mobile domestic students. The Bologna degree reform was another turning point, as universities sought to further increase the number of degree programmes taught in English, especially at the Master's level. Today, English-taught degree programmes are fully integrated into all educational activities at Dutch universities.
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